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Grant County flood repairs estimated to cost millions

Published On: Jun 23 2013 01:28:48 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 24 2013 08:15:25 AM CDT

Photo courtesy Bailey Springer

Lone Rock

RIO, Wis. -

Emergency officials estimate that repairs from the Grant County flooding will cost $2.3 million.

And that total doesn't yet include the hard-hit city of Boscobel.

In total, 600 homes were damaged, 20 of which suffered major damage, due to the weekend's storms.

The storms that ripped through southwestern Wisconsin counties Saturday night left behind flooding, mudslides, and uprooted trees.

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down approximately 3 miles southwest of Rio around 8:55 p.m. Saturday.

Columbia County Emergency Management is reporting minor tree damage caused by the tornado but is not reporting any injuries or need for emergency assistance.

The Crawford County board chair declared a state of emergency Saturday night, according to a release. Flooding and mudslides occurred throughout the county, and emergency response teams evacuated individual homes throughout the evening.

Crawford County officials are reporting multiple road closures, including US Highway 61 northbound at Highway 60 eastbound north and across the Wisconsin River from Boscobel.; Highway 35 at Highway 27 northbound north of Prairie du Chien; Highway 179 at Highway 27 northbound near Eastman; and Highway 171 at Highway 27 northbound west of Gays Mills.

Grant County officials declared a state of emergency Saturday night and have requested help from other law enforcement agencies to assist with traffic control near flooded roadways and possible evacuation assistance, according to a release.

Boscobel received nearly 8 inches of rain and the Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center said local officials in Boscobel reported that more than half the community's streets were flooded early Saturday, but most of the water has receded.

Crews from 10 local departments came to help out the city of Boscobel on Sunday, Together, they were able to get rid of standing water that had covered much of the city on Saturday.

Crews and residents alike counted themselves fortunate that more serious rain did not materialize on Sunday.

"Not raining today was the biggest benefit we had," said Boscobel fire chief Todd Fischer on Sunday.

Despite the Sunday relief, firefighters were more than busy pumping water, while emergency management officials went through homes assessing damage.

Homeowners without flood insurance are left to hope for federal help.

Emergency officials are asking that residents get their damage documentation into Boscobel City Hall as soon as they can.

Residents in need of cleaning supplies or other help should call or stop by Boscobel City Hall at 8 a.m. Monday morning.

Those interested in helping volunteer in the clean-up effort are asked to report at the same time at City Hall.

Meanwhile, other impacted areas in Grant County include flooding in Woodman, Mount Hope, Patch Grove, Blue River and the surrounding areas, according to the release.

Officials said a section of railroad track has been washed out about a mile west of Blue River.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Blue River Fire Department responded to a call regarding canoeists that were stranded on the Wisconsin River, according to the release.

Officials said crews helped 54 people off the river and all canoeists are accounted for.

Iowa County officials say most of the damage is in the northwest portion of the county and they haven’t had reports of significant power outages.

Highway 130 was closed Sunday morning in both directions north of Dodgeville near Avoca from Highway 23 to Lone Rock Bridge due to water on the roadway and debris. Highway 133 remains closed in both directions from Muscoda to Lone Rock Bridge due to mudslides and washouts.

Vernon County officials have reported minor flooding due to excessive rain, and Highway 162 in lower Chaseburg is closed due to high water.

Highway 60 in Richland County from Lone Rock to the Sauk county line in Steuban is closed.

The NWS said additional storms could result in heavy rain and additional flash flooding.

Flash flood watches are in effect until 10 a.m. Tuesday for Dane, Columbia, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Lafayette, Marquette, Rock, and Sauk counties.

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